Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site. According to the census held in March 2015, which was jointly conducted by the Forest Department of the Government of Assam and some recognized wildlife NGOs, the rhino population in Kaziranga National Park is 2,401. It comprises 1,651 adult rhinos (663 male, 802 are females, 186 unsexed); 294 sub-adults (90 males, 114 females, 90 unsexed); 251 juveniles and 205 cubs.
Kaziranga is home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world, and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species. When compared with other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
Although the etymology of the name Kaziranga is not certain, there exist a number of possible explanations derived from local legends and records. According to one legend, a girl named Ranga, from a nearby village, and a youth named Kazi, from Karbi Anglong, fell in love. This match was not acceptable to their families, and the couple disappeared into the forest, never to be seen again, and the forest was named after them. According to another legend, Srimanta Sankardeva, the sixteenth century Vaisnava saint-scholar, once blessed a childless couple, Kazi and Rangai, and asked them to dig a big pond in the region so that their name would live on.
Testimony to the long history of the name can be found in some records, which state that once, while the Ahom king Pratap Singha was passing by the region during the seventeenth century, he was particularly impressed by the taste of fish, and on asking was told it came from Kaziranga.
Kaziranga also could mean the “Land of red goats (Deer)”, as the word Kazi in the Karbi language means “goat”, and Rangai means “red”.
Some historians believe, however, that the name Kaziranga was derived from the Karbi word Kajir-a-rong, which means “the village of Kajir” (kajiror gaon). Among the Karbis, Kajir is a common name for a girl child, and it was believed that a woman named Kajir once ruled over the area. Fragments of monoliths associated with Karbi rule found scattered in the area seem to bear testimony to this assertion.